What is AMP and How Do You Use it?

Accelerated Mobile Page
First thing’s first. What’s an AMP page and why do you need/want it? Taken from the official page – https://www.ampproject.org/learn/overview/, it says “AMP is an open-source library that provides a straightforward way to create web pages that are compelling, smooth, and load near instantaneously for users. AMP pages are just web pages that you can link to and are controlled by you.”. Basically – it’s a stripped down html page that is meant to load as fast as possible. It was made by Google and Twitter to compete against a similar project – Facebook Instant Articles by (you guessed it), Facebook. The idea behind AMP is to keep things open source and readily available for businesses to use.

So, we know that the reason AMP’s load so fast is because they are very stripped down. But what exactly is stripped down? First of all, JavaScript is basically gone, except for a customized library that they give you access to. Also, the css you use has to be very specific so as not to include some code that they don’t allow within AMP pages. After all, the entire point is for the page to have instant response time from the search engine to the user’s device.

How does it work?
So, you have your website, let’s call it example.com. Our hypothetical example.com, will have both a regular page, as well as an AMP page. The developers of example.com have gone ahead and linked the amp pages with the regular pages using an AMP html link. This allows every site on the page to be typed with a /amp at the end, to see the AMP page. However, that is just something there for the site’s utility, it doesn’t relate to Google yet. What is connected to Google – that will be a cached version of the page that is hosted on Google’s owns servers. This is a big reason for the near instantaneous page loading. That’s not all though – the cached versions of the pages also allow you to use Analytics and Advertisements, like any other page, without compromising on speed, and it stays within the guidelines. Something else that’s important to know – AMP’s are and probably always will be only supported on mobile.

What should my business do?
Well, if you’ve read this far in, the obvious answer is to build AMP pages for each page of your site. WordPress and other CMS’s already have plugins available that will do most of the work for you. However, it’s not that simple of a project to convert an entire website to this streamlined version of HTML/JS and retain a good look, so for that most businesses will want to employ web-development companies like MAKDigitalDesign, to help create AMP Pages for your site. This will ultimately give your site future-proofing, an improved mobile experience, and an immensely valuable SEO boost.

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